Siren’s Song

We saw lots of Moms and Babies on our Wednesday Whale Watches. On the 10:00 Whale Watch, guests got to see a very curious baby swim right along side of us (which is always fun)…but what was even more fun was when the baby decided to check out our boarding ladder and swam right under our bow trampolines. Though it’s difficult to come up with the correct words to describe this, suffice it to say that lying on the trampolines under the warm Waikoloa sun, looking down into the turquoise water is a pretty perfect experience, but when you add a little Humpback who’s obviously playing with the boat, you’ve just created a memory for life! On the 12:30 Whale Watch, we saw lots of whales as we headed south to Keawa’iki. When we got there, we found a Mom/Baby/Escort pod. We couldn’t tell who was making all the noise, but we didn’t even have to drop the hydrophone into the water to hear the vocalizations…the sounds reverberated right through the hulls! We know that only male Humpbacks sing, but without a way to actually record and analyze the sounds we were hearing, we couldn’t be sure if we were listening to the escort singing his song or to Mom and/or baby vocalizing. This is exactly the experience that created the myth of the Siren’s Song…uneducated (and lonely) sailors centuries ago could hear these sounds in the holds of their boats. Without a good explanation of who or what was producing the noises they were hearing, they came to the conclusion that they were listening to enchanting (and lonely) mermaids who were trying to lure them to wreck their ships on their islands….
Captain Claires’ Humpback Whale Fact of the Day:  The haunting song of the Humpback has actually travelled beyond our oceans. In 1977, NASA launched two Voyager space crafts. Aboard each was a golden record with a collection of sights, sounds and greetings from Earth in 54 different human languages. These records also includegreetings from Humpback whales! And that was just the first time the whales’ song travelled beyond our planet…On Earth Day (4/22) in 2005, a private organization called Deep Space Network broadcast a live feed from a hydrophone off the coast of Maui of the Humpbacks singing. They used a five meter parabolic dish antenna and broadcast the sounds about 18 trillion miles into deep space. So far, we haven’t gotten a response back…

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